A Flight Of Fancy For Ipswich Town?
By train it takes approximately 6 hours and by bus considerably more so the idea to take a plane for the long trip to the north west of England is understandable, if not rather bizarre.
The fact that the Blues have effectively got nothing more to play for - except perhaps pride, it seems a strange time to put emphasis on the players welfare because win lose or draw tomorrow, it will not make a shred of difference to what has turned out to be another highly forgettable season.
And to think it started so brightly only to fade away as fast as a shooting star in the nights sky. Manager Mick McCarthy has not had the best of luck with injuries or dubious refereeing decisions of late and this was made all the more apparent in midweek, when Town dominated large chunks of possession against second placed Cardiff City, only to lose to a goal that should never have been.
Today Mick McCarthy said that he was not averse to staying a little bit longer; on the condition that owner Marcus Evans still wants him at the club and the body language at his press conference this morning, seemed to suggest that he does.
He joked that making a decision on his future BEFORE the season ticket applications went out, might not be such a good idea if he gets the nod, as it might have a negative impact on sales!
Having listened to him today I got the distinct feeling that he will be with us next term and that Evans is not foolish enough to get rid of a manager whose wheelings and dealing in the transfer market are clearly on the credit side. Falling attendances however counter that but Evans knows that Mick has a tight hold on the purse strings and he has won promotion from this league before.
Tomorrow Preston will be without suspended defender Darnell Fisher, as he begins a two-game ban after picking up his 10th booking this season in their draw at Aston Villa.
Town striker Joe Garner should return to the side after being rested in midweek because of a knee problem but Mustapha Carayol is unlikely to feature as he recovers from diarrhea, while teenagers Tristan Nydam, Ben Morris and Aaron Drinan will all travel apparently.
Ipswich have won just two of their last 11 Championship games but The Tractor Boys haven't lost a league match against Preston since December 2010 and are unbeaten in the six matches since.
Frank Weston Editor of Vital Ipswich